Social Media Working KnowledgeUsing Social Technology in Pharma Marketing
Brand marketers o dierent product categories have started to embrace social media.Still, a ew industries are conspicuously not taking advantage and have yet to take therst step: pharmaceuticals is one o them.While pharma is desperately trying to nd new ways to engage consumers, they have yetto gure out how to use social media. The reason: Pharma marketers ear that user-gen-erated content will include complaints about injuries caused by their drugs’ side eectsand lead to advocacy o generics. The law requires these ‘adverse events’ to be reportedto the FDA. The FDA’s adverse-event databases are regularly scouted by lawyers lookingor potential class-action suits. Thus, social media is quickly ruled out as an option andall customer interaction is kept to an absolute bare minimum.Lately there has been a lot o discussion surrounding the pharmaceutical industry andsocial media. There is chatter to be ound in orums or web strategists, industry blogs,health and wellness communities, among many other places. Why is that? There issomething more going on than natural conversation at the intersections o popular topics(i.e. digital tools and trends, and healthcare in the U.S.).There is something ascinating about the simultaneous allure and apprehension o themix o pharma and social media.Let’s see what’s going on.
Enter Social Media Mania
Hopeully, social media is well understood. Its methods have been deployed by virtually allindustries and they make powerul ongoing contributions in shaping our world. One neednot look any urther than the social media-uelled victory o the Democratic Party in 2008.The nature o social media is an open one. Its core is comprised o virtues that are notalways easy to articulate but ring true when heard: social media assumes real benets romnetwork eects; the more participants, the merrier. It longs or inormation to be truly ree,available or all to access, mash up and remix, without having the Net Neutrality-aroma oLaw attached to it.Social media reminds us that a good idea can come rom anyone.It returns meaningulresults when the quality o communication is strong, and is impressively equipped withsophisticated etiquette systems and languages dialects. A subtle touchstone o social media is progress.